Everybody knows that vineyards across the world use pesticides as the first line of defense against several grapevine diseases. A loot of winemakers and wine drinkers worry about the effects of pesticides. There is a good news for all of pesticide phobics, a team of French scientists have been working on a breeding disease-resistant “supergrapes,” which have just gotten approval for use in French wines and which are expected to start going into bottles in 2020. Naturally, they’re proving to be controversial in their own right.
Four new grape varieties developed by a breeding program known as ResDur, launched in 2000 at France’s National Institute of Agronomical Research (INRA), have finally gotten authorization to be used in French wines.
According to Didier Merdinoglu, who often called the “father” of the INRA program, these grapes—two red, called Artaban and Vidoc, and two white, called Floreal and Voltis—can reduce the use of pesticides by 80 to 90 percent thanks to their resistance to two common diseases: downy and powdery mildew. “We are talking about dropping from an average of 15 treatments (for fungal disease) per year to one or two, above all to kill off other diseases and parasites,” he said.